‘Can opener’ bridge tears up another truck

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The video begins calmly enough: cars and even some joggers on the sidewalk are seen passing under the old train trestle in Durham, N.C. when disaster strikes.

A moving truck that’s too high for the infamously low bridge slams into the I-beam and sends the joggers running. It’s crash #128 since Christopher Henn, a Duke University employee, began recording the collisions back in April 2008.

This time, however, there are injuries. Henn reports that two passengers in the truck had to be taken to the hospital. An ambulance and police car are shown arriving on scene. (Please note that the video below contains strong language.)

The accidents keep coming despite low bridge signs and an automated warning system which changes an intersection light to red and activates a large, electric sign further warning drivers of over-sized trucks to turn and avoid running into the 11-foot, 8-inch ‘can-opener,’ a nickname easily earned through the years. (The red light and sign are shown in the photo above).

Henn has a bird’s eye view of the collisions from his office window. He created the website, 11foot8.com, to document the crashes and to sell what he calls ‘crash art’–small remnants of trucks torn-off by the bridge that are often left in strange and comical curlicue shapes. Henn’s got quite a following. His YouTube site has dozens of crash videos along with over 29,000 subscribers.

“So frequently do trucks crash into the 11-foot-8 clearance trestle, that the railroad company installed a crash beam in front of it,” Henn writes on 11foot8.com. “This massive steel I-beam bears the brunt of the impact, protecting the structure that supports this fairly busy railroad track. Believe it or not – they already had to replace the beam once!”